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Francis Pusok Convicted and Sentenced to 65 Years for Assault and Other Charges

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (VVNG.com) — On January 9, 2024, a jury found Francis Pusok guilty on multiple charges including battery, assault with a deadly weapon on emergency personnel, being a felon in possession of a firearm, evading an officer against traffic, and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

The conviction follows an incident when Pusok assaulted a convenience store clerk and led deputies on a high-speed chase.

Summary of the Incident

On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, deputies from the Apple Valley Police Department responded to a report of an assault in the 20000 block of Bear Valley Road. Upon arrival, it was discovered that Pusok had assaulted a clerk and fled. A vehicle pursuit ensued when deputies located Pusok’s car, during which Pusok exhibited risky driving behavior, such as failing to stop at posted signs, driving into opposing lanes, and reaching speeds over 90 miles per hour.

The pursuit concluded near Tussing Ranch Road and Navajo Road when Pusok’s vehicle rolled over after crossing train tracks at a high speed. Pusok sustained injuries from the crash and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. A handgun was recovered during the cleanup of the crash site.

Court Proceedings

The trial featured testimony from various witnesses, including the assaulted convenience store clerk and other civilians who observed the incident. Two deputies also provided testimony regarding Pusok’s attempts to strike them with his vehicle. Pusok’s criminal history, including a 2006 attempted robbery and 2015 battery with serious bodily injury, were considered during the trial, making this a three-strikes case.

The Beating

Pusok made national headlines in April 2015 after leading sheriff’s deputies on a pursuit while mounted on a stolen horse around the Deep Creek area. An NBC 4 news helicopter hovering high above the scene captured the moment that Pusok fell from the horse and was beaten by deputies during his arrest. In order to avoid litigation expenses the case was quickly settled for $650,000 and after the investigation 10 deputies were placed on administrative leave. 

A San Bernardino County Deputy was found guilty on one count of assault under the color of authority for his role in the beating of Francis Jared Pusok. Pusok was awarded $650,000 civil settlement by the county with $30,000 withheld for back child support payments.

Sentencing

On Monday, June 10, 2024, Francis Pusok was sentenced to 65 years and 4 months to life during a sentencing hearing. The case was investigated by the Apple Valley Police Department and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jason Wilkinson from the Victorville Major Crimes Unit. The trial was presided over by the Honorable Judge Debra Harris.


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